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29.01.2020 17:51:00

Is Geron Stock a Buy?

Wall Street calls Geron (NASDAQ: GERN) a strong buy, so there is clearly a good deal of excitement about the stock, but also a good deal of risk. The question of whether to buy shares of the biotech company today isn't an easy one to answer for one good reason: Geron, at least as of now, is essentially a one-drug company. There's no hedging one's bets in this story -- the company's future and the future of your investment depend on what happens with imetelstat, an investigational drug for lower-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).Image source: Getty Images.Janssen Biotech, a Johnson & Johnson company, ended its collaboration and license agreement with Geron in 2018 after a strategic review of its portfolio, and as of last year, Geron assumed full responsibility for the clinical development and future commercialization of the drug if approved. The positive here is that Geron gets the whole pie for a drug that could find its niche in an underserved area. MDS is a type of cancer, and the term actually refers to a group of disorders in which the bone marrow doesn't make enough functioning blood cells. According to a paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences last year, patients with lower-risk MDS make up two-thirds of the disease population, and the only treatment approved for their anemia -- erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESA) -- results in response rates of below 50%. Geron has reported promising results in a phase 2/3 study of red blood cell transfusion-dependent patients who are refractory or resistant to ESA treatment.Continue reading
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